A Step by Step Guide to Writing for the Web (2.0)

An Introduction To The World Of Writing For The Web – Instructions I Give My Content Staff…

Affiliate copywritingWhen I first started out writing online, the biggest mistake I made was trying to write articles like I was a writing a book or a novel. If you don’t know already, writing articles for the internet is completely different.

Generally speaking, the majority of people simply “scan” a website’s content and do not want to sit through sentences that leave them breathless, or paragraphs that make them dizzy.

So, how do we go about doing this?

Well, the main idea here is that we want to catch their attention through quality and informative content – presented in a way that gives our visitors the choice (and freedom) to scan and select the information they find most valuable.

Break Your Articles Up!

For example, here is an opening paragraph from an article I reviewed for promoting a popular health product…

Real Case Study 1:

“How many times have you tried to lose weight only to fail because you either do not have the time to focus on your weight loss goal or you cannot stick to the latest ‘extreme’ diet fad or that you simply lack the true motivation to be that new slim you that you desire?! If this sounds familiar then the Meratol Diet Pill is here to help…”

Now, that was a real mouthful, don’t you agree?

Okay, here is the edited version- notice the breaks…

Real Case Study 2:

“How many times have you tried to lose weight only to fail?

Perhaps it’s because you do not have the time to focus on your weight loss goal, or you simply cannot stick to the latest ‘extreme’ diet fad?

Maybe you just lack the motivation to be the new slim shape that you truly do desire?!?

If this all sounds familiar to you, then the Meratol Diet Pill is here to help…”

Now, I think you would agree that Case Study number 2 is much more pleasant to read.

Remember… we are not writing a novel here so make it catchy and easy on the eye.

Include Sub- headings!

This is another great way to break up your articles and make them more appealing to our visitors. With sub-headings, you may want to ask the visitor a question such as:

Still Worrying About Your Weight?

Also, notice that I “bolded” the text.

Again, this is just another way we can make our articles more appealing to our visitors. In my opinion, it also looks much better – I’m sure you would agree!

A few sub-headings logically placed throughout the article is all you really need on your pre-selling affiliate articles.

Make Your Article Title Catchy!

Yes, it’s surprising how many people abuse this rule. No matter how beautiful or informative your article is, if the title doesn’t pull them in then people won’t read your content – simple as!

This is down to your own levels of creativity, so don’t be afraid to use some wit and personality here.

For example…

Discover How Natural Bee Pollen Can Literally Transform Your Life!

Ok, there are many ways that you could improve this title, but I am sure you would agree that it is better than simply…

Bee Pollen Benefits

Do you agree?

Title in Lower Case = Bad Move

When you write a title, ALWAYS make sure the first letter of each word is in capitals. If not, many of the article directories on the web and quite often the client you may be writing for – will simply send it back to you… Remember, we want to make this as fun and painless as possible. The only returns we want to see on your articles should be in your bank account!

Keep Note of Keyword Density

This really is very important. When an article is ordered, a target keyword will usually be provided. There are many conflicting opinions on this topic but generally speaking, try to keep your keyword density around 1% and no higher unless specified.

Also, try to include the keyword in the title, the first sentence and also the last sentence of your article body.

To check your keyword density, here is a free tool to use – http://www.live-keyword-analysis.com/

Remember though, think humans first – search engines second!

Communicate

Aside from writing the articles, another crucial point to make sure you have consistent work for as long as possible is to communicate.

If you need to do something or simply want to take a break then of course there is no problem, as the beauty of this job as content publishers is flexibility.

Communication is key, so please always let the person you may be doing the work for know if you are not available.

All Content MUST be Original

Quite obviously, you will sometimes need to glean information from other websites for the articles. However, duplicate content on the internet is a big NO-NO so NEVER copy and paste into your article.

At times you may find it tricky to reword something into your own words so as a rule of thumb, make sure there are no more than 3 matching words in sequential order for your own article.

All articles are checked for duplicate content via Copyscape so please never try and take any shortcuts here.

Duplicate content is taken very seriously and people are sued online every day for breaking this rule.

Enjoy the Job!

As I already mentioned, the beauty of making money this way is that you can be anywhere you like. All you need is a computer and an internet connection so take advantage of it!

After doing a few hours work in your hotel room without a boss leaning over your shoulder, you could be walking out onto the beach for a few well deserved drinks!

That’s it for today’s lesson on writing for the web. I will be back in touch soon with more useful tips, guides and articles for all my readers! :)

I hope this short guide helped and please don’t hesitate to ask me any questions on the comments below.

Thanks again and welcome to HWA if you are new to the blog here!

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11 thoughts on “A Step by Step Guide to Writing for the Web (2.0)

  1. I love this!!!! I always have problem with outsourcers. They seem to never understand how to write. Imagine spending a fortune on articles and having to re-write everything yourself. Its just so sad. I will pass this along

  2. Thanks Peter. Yes, you need to teach your team how to write for the web, very important that you give them material to learn from. You want to develop and cultivate the relationship with your content team… They are a key aspect in your business.

  3. Thanks for the examples John.

    Good Pre-selling won’t happen overnight it takes practice to hone your skills and find your voice,but an essential skill for affiliate marketing. These are great examples to get started with.

    I also try and shorten words as much as I can. For example;

    is it – its

    cannot – can’t

    should not – shouldn’t

    • Hi Sean, my pleasure…

      Yeah, the pre-sell is an art and you are always learning how to do it better. I try to shorten words too, it helps with the flow. Although, I still write like a donkey at times 😀

  4. Hi JohnG,and the HWA community,

    You said “you need to teach your team how to write for the web, very important that you give them material to learn from. You want to develop and cultivate the relationship with your content team”.

    This is SO TRUE. Let me quickly share with everyone an experience I had with my article writer.

    I sent her instructions describing the type of article I needed. The article I received was NOT GOOD. So, instead of looking for another writer, I sent another email to my writer. This time carefully DESCRIBING IN DETAIL what I needed, along with a copy of a well written article I had on hand, and an article template, like the one we (HWA)use. What happened?

    This time, I received exactly what I needed. A very well written, carefully researched, professional looking article!

    The lesson I learned from this is that a good article writer can’t give me what I need, unless I give them what they need – very CLEAR, HIGHLY DETAILED instructions, with examples, if available.

    I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish this if I hadn’t re-read JohnG’s very CLEAR, HIGHLY DETAILED instructions on HOW TO communicate with the person you are outsourcing to. Thanks JohnG, you are making a difference. Keep it coming.

    NormanT

    • Hi Norman – great to hear from you again. I think you are going to love the re-vamp I am doing here by the way :)

      “The lesson I learned from this is that a good article writer can’t give me what I need, unless I give them what they need – very CLEAR, HIGHLY DETAILED instructions, with examples, if available.”

      This is the message I was trying to get across to you all. I am very glad you not not only understood, but applied!!

      This type of feedback is even better (for me) than me making an affiliate sale now. If I know I have helped someone to do something constructive, I sleep well at night and know I am becoming part of healthy, good karma :)

      Provide value in your work guys, and the rewards will come (not only through sales, but by helping others too.) This could be with health issues, or whatever your site topic is on. Put up quality work and your visitors will rewrad you in more ways than one.

  5. It’s not only a great article, but I also pictured out my problem that i never been simple in my writings. I am a freelance writer and at first when i started writing on Fiverr. I faced a lot of hardship to know my skills. I came to a conclusion that I can write so I started writing. It was going well, but even sometimes i had some complaints about the content. Today with this post i got the solution of my problem and that is i need to simplify my words in content.
    Aamir Khursheed freelancer recently posted…How to make money BLOGGINGMy Profile

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